Columns: Comfort food a great option for dark, fall days

The weather has been pretty decent considering it is the middle of November.

The weather has been pretty decent considering it is the middle of November.

I still have flowers growing in my garden to add some colour to these dark sort of days we have experienced as of late.

From now until about the end of March next year is a good time for comfort food. Well, any time is good, but when the weather is cool, it seems that it is a good time to do a little comfort cooking. That does not mean pulling an easy chair in front of the stove.

What is it that comforts your taste buds at this time of the year? Perhaps it may be a nice big bowl of soup, or how about a tasty stew with meat and lots of veggies — maybe some fresh fish, some chicken, beef or pork.

I consider some of the Thai dishes that I have learned to cook and enjoy as a nice meal at this time of the year, as a comfort food, but there are so many nice foods that are comfortable for me.

I  suspect what you may consider as a comfort food may not have the same consideration by others.

One  definition of comfort food suggests it is food that provides a nostalgic feeling to the consumer and generally is one that is easy to prepare.

Every person has their own idea of what kind of food brings them to a happy memory or feeling. Each race and culture also have different foods that are called comfort foods.

In North America and perhaps around the world, a chicken soup is generally considered as a comfort food, and I would also believe that macaroni and cheese could be added into this category.

The first time I had this next dish was in a restaurant and I really enjoyed the taste. Since then I  have made it at home with different variations, but always tasty.

Jambalaya

• 3/4 pound of smoked ham cut in small pieces

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 green pepper, cored  seeded and chopped

• 1 medium sized onion sliced

• 3/4 pound of cooked shrimp

• 2 cups of canned tomatoes, crush up a little bit or 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

• 2 cups of water

• 2 cloves of garlic crushed

• 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

• 1/2 tsp crushed dried red pepper

• Ground seasoned sea salt and ground black pepper (not ground works as well)

• 1 1/2 cups of rice

• 1 tbsp chopped parsley

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, fry the ham, green pepper and onion until they start to brown.

Add the shrimps, tomatoes, water, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, bring to a boil then put in the rice and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

Take from stove and let stand covered, up to 10 minutes.  Stir in chopped parsley along with just a pinch of pepper and salt, then serve.

Comforting food for me. See if it fits in your comfort zone. It’s easy to make.

Hope Friday the 13th is lucky for you. I think I’ll buy a lottery ticket.

Bye for now and Goood Cooking.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 president David Brideau salutes the Cenotaph at city hall during a past Remembrance Day services in Williams Lake Monday, Nov. 11. Brideau, who served three years with the Canadian military in Edmonton, was the parade commander during the Legion’s Remembrance Day service. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake legion looks to upgrade lounge, patio, to be COVID compliant

Upgrades will require significant financial investment, Branch 139 president David Brideau said

Williams Lake’s Daine Dubois (left) and 150 Mile House’s Isaac Bedford have been named as recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Tribune file photos)
Two Cariboo athletes honoured with Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

“You have honoured the province, your nations, and your families.”

A worker at Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
B.C. Mining Month celebrates innovation

Mining has long been important to the Williams Lake economy

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read